It’s time to get ready for Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is a time where you can have friends and family over for a fantastic meal and spend time together. Make sure that your thanksgiving meal prep goes well by following these tips while cooking up some tasty dishes:
1. Make a list
First of all, we recommend making an extensive meal plan and grocery list. It will help you stay organized and on top of your game throughout the process. It will also help with shopping and sticking to your budget! You can break it up by course (appetizers, side dishes, pies & desserts), or make one long list with everything on it! Two days before Thanksgiving, start cooking by prepping all the ingredients for each meal. Store them in separate containers until it’s time to cook on Thanksgiving day!
2. Get the quantities right
Make sure you have enough ingredients for your guests. You don’t want to run out of something and leave people hungry!
3. Plan out recipes
Now that you have your shopping done and your kitchen is ready for cooking let’s think about what recipes to use when? We suggest looking at some Thanksgiving menu planning ideas found online and picking three different entrée options to prepare – turkey, chicken breast/white meat, beef tenderloin. If vegan guests are in attendance this year, then roasted vegetables would be perfect as an entrée option.
4. Set a schedule
Once you have all of your recipes picked out, it’s time to look at how much time each takes and determine what you will be prepared for first. Might your turkey take the most extended amount of cook/prep time – maybe two hours? So if that’s going into the oven around 11 am, then start working on side dishes early morning (around six). With the right recipe, if there are quick & easy sides like green beans or mashed potatoes, these can go from scratch to the table in about twenty minutes!
5. Organize yourself
The kitchen should be well-stocked before getting started. You don’t want to run out of parchment paper mid-way through cooking dinner rolls! Make sure you have everything laid out ahead of time to avoid stress and wasted food.
6. Start Early
Side dishes and desserts should be started in the early morning. It’s recommended to start with things that take longer, such as roasting a turkey or making pie crusts from scratch.
For example, if your turkey will take a few hours to cook, you should preheat the oven. If it’s something else that takes longer, such as making homemade mashed potatoes or green beans with almonds, start cooking them early, so they are ready when it’s time for dinner!
7. Stock Your Pantry
Start early by stocking up on all your ingredients in advance. It will save you a lot of time and money during the busy holiday season, not to mention it will make cooking much more effortless!
Watch out for allergens at this special dinner, usually filled with many foods that people are allergic to! Be sure to keep those individuals safe by not using peanuts or shellfish and checking labels carefully before serving anything else. You may even want to make a separate dish just for them to enjoy everything without worrying about an allergic reaction!
9. Get The Table Ready
If you’re hosting this year, then make sure your dinner table is ready to go. Gather all the needed utensils, plates, napkins, and cups ahead of time, so there’s no last-minute scrambling around looking for things!
You can even try adding some fall décor, such as pumpkins or leaves, which will set the mood before everyone arrives at your door.
10. Don’t forget the wine
A Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete without some wine! Think about what you are making and pick out two or three bottles of different types to enjoy during the day. Wine is great with almost everything, so it will be sure to keep things festive throughout dinner!
11. Keep calm & carry on
While preparing any big holiday meal, the critical thing to remember is that everyone needs time to relax, especially yourself. If your guests want to help in the kitchen, let them assist, but don’t get stressed if they can. It’s all about enjoying good food and company.
12. Keep it tidy
Keep your house clean while people come over for dinner because it can be a madhouse! Make sure you have a plan to clean up as quickly as possible afterward, but with everyone still enjoying themselves. This way everything will be nice and tidy before the next day comes!
13. Don’t forget your guests
On Thanksgiving, don’t spend too much time cooking. While you have to cook the meal perfectly with all your friends and family watching closely, it also takes away from spending quality time with them!
Make sure you get enough sleep the night before Thanksgiving so that you aren’t groggy and slow when cooking!
15. Take a break
Once everyone has had their fill of turkey & pie, it’s time to go for a walk! You can even plan on ending your day with some friendly football or movie watching.
19. Work together
A vital part of Thanksgiving meal prep is the clean-up phase, which you should all do together as well. If there are dishes, pots, and pans that need washing, then assign them out but make sure everyone pitches in so things don’t take forever! Afterward, sit back, relax over coffee or tea and enjoy each other’s company until you have to say goodbye for another year, if not sooner.
Finally, if possible, try making something different than what you usually make for Thanksgiving now and then. That way, everyone doesn’t get sick of eating things like cranberries or pumpkin pie each year!
By now, I think you understand how important it is to prepare for this memorable holiday. No matter your tradition, make sure that you follow these helpful tips to make the most out of this Thanksgiving Meal Prep.
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